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Hodder bags planning for £35million overhaul of Seifert's Gateway House

Manchester City Council has approved Hodder + Partners’ proposed redevelopment of Richard Seifert’s 1965 Gateway House, next to Piccadilliy Station

Backed unanimously by councillors yesterday (22 December), the £35 million scheme for Realty Estates will see the landmark curved-office building converted into a 270-room hotel. There are also plans for a new 3,700m² office block with ground floor retail space on Ducie Street and a separate three-storey gym built behind the Seifert building.

Practice founder Stephen Hodder said: ‘The application went through smoothly. Realty Estates is in final negotiations with two hotel operators and hopes to conclude a deal in January with a view to starting on site in May.’

He added: ‘The £20 million hotel element will take about 15 months to complete with the office scheme following on later.’

The development is the latest hotel scheme to be given the green light around the city centre station and the AJ understands the ‘hotel cluster’ is set to grow with more projects in the pipeline.

The practice won the Gateway House project in competition in 2009 (AJ 11.12.09).

Previous story (AJ 29.09.2011)

Hodder submits plans for £35million overhaul of Seifert’s Gateway House

Hodder + Partners has submitted plans for the proposed redevelopment of Richard Seifert’s 1965 Gateway House, next to Piccadilliy Station in Manchester

The scheme, which has changed from the firm’s original competition-winning scheme (AJ 11.12.09), will see the landmark curved-office building converted into a 270-room hotel. The £35 million project for Realty Estates includes a new 3,700m² office block with ground floor retail space on Ducie Street and a separate three-storey gym built behind the Seifert building.

The Manchester-based practice, which has recently moved offices and is headed by Stirling Prize-winning architect Stephen Hodder (Salford University’s Centenary Building 1996), hopes to land planning consent for the development before the end of the year.

English Heritage has confirmed it has no intention to list the existing Seifert buidling.

The architect’s view

Gateway House is often a visitor’s first impression of Manchester. It is now looking a little tired with a public realm unfitting to an international city.

The conversion of Gateway House into a hotel resolves a missing piece of the city by creating a Railway Hotel, in the same vain as St Pancreas Station, London.
Gateway House is considered one of Manchester’s greatest modernist buildings. As a result, the strategy for the refurbishment of is one of conservation rather than reconstruction. The building will be stripped back to its concrete structure and reclad to meet current envelope requirements while still stressing the horizontals and fine grain of the existing building. The desire is for the façade to capture the dynamism of Station Approach whereby over 20 million people pass every year. The proposal is to utilise LED lights that will create the largest piece of public artwork in the city.

The main hotel accommodation - reception, bar and restaurant - is located at first floor level to maximise views over the city and reduce any noise impact of the busy streets below. The new colonnaded base will frame the individual shop units whilst giving an architectural logic to the existing corner that houses Café Nero. The concrete ‘framed base’ becomes the architectural language and rhythm of the new build elements of the scheme, linking the triumvirate of the hotel, retail and office.

The new office block accentuates the podium frame and uses it to form the structure for the office building. Taking the robust massing of the adjacent Victorian warehouse, the frame is used to conceptually hold a Miesian box that further clasps a glass cube. The layering of ‘frame and boxes’ pushes the glass cube northwards, projecting it out of its holding structure. The slip of the glass cube is deliberate in order to create a recess on the southern elevation (which is also louvered) and a projection on the northern face where solar overheating is not an issue.

The office is served from the existing northern core of Gateway House by a series of link bridges which creates a dynamic, eight-storey high atrium linking the entrance to the upper most floor.

The gym offers a destination building, bringing 24 hour a day footfall to the rear of Gateway House as a strategy to activate a forgotten area of Manchester. The main treatment of the facade is opaque glass which will illuminate the building to create a beacon for the buildings activity.

 

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